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It's time for government to increase transparency in procurement

The Guardian - Open procurement is not just about data, it's also about engaging with suppliers.

A thorough training in statistics many years ago impressed on me that statistics are useful at indicating the right questions to ask, but on their own rarely provide answers.

Politicians of all parties seem to accept that transparency of information and data can lead to greater accountability and improved services. The previous Labour government introduced the Freedom of Information Act. Critics argued that this would lead to secretive decision-making, but journalists now regularly use the act to hold public sector bodies to account.

Transparency of data is also seen as key to improving NHS services, but as NHS director Richard Greave noted last year on the Public Leaders Network, people need to understand the story behind the data.